Norway celebrate at the top of the podium after winning the Nordic combined relay ©Getty Images

Norway reclaimed the team large hill 4x5 kilometres Nordic combined title after beating bitter rivals Germany by almost one minute at the Winter Olympics here in Zhangjiakou.

The two nations - who occupy the top two spots in the medal table - finished first and second in the past two Games in the event with Norway winning at Sochi 2014 and Germany triumphing at Pyeongchang 2018.

This time it was Norway who emerged victorious as they finished in 50:45.1 with Jørgen Graabak, who won gold in the individual large hill 10km, anchoring the team home.

Germany finished 54.9 seconds behind Norway in second place, while Japan claimed bronze in 51:40.3.

The Norwegian team featured Graabak, Espen Bjørnstad, Jens Luraas Oftebro and Espen Andersen.

"The guys put me in the perfect position and actually I felt when I went out from the stadium that I had pretty much everything to lose," said Graabak.

"The situation was just so perfect and the three other guys made all the work.

"In the end it was, I wouldn't say easy, but it wasn't the hardest one. 

"So it was a joy to go around there for 5k and in the end it was actually possible to enjoy the last kilometres and just savour the moment, so it was really special."

Austria had led after the ski jumping round with Franz-Josef Rehrl registering the long jump of 141 metres to boost his team’s points total to 475.4.

Norway were second on 469.4 with Germany third on 467 and Japan fourth on 410.0.

Jørgen Graabak acknowledges the crowd as he anchors the Norwegian team to victory ©Getty Images
Jørgen Graabak acknowledges the crowd as he anchors the Norwegian team to victory ©Getty Images

It was then a battle between those four nations for the title as they went into the cross-country skiing segment.

Rehrl and Johannes Lamparter kept Austria in front as Lukas Greiderer led going into the second half of the race.

Norway then upped the ante with Oftebro producing a storming finish to his leg to put his team in a commanding position.

Olympic gold medallist Eric Frenzel was back after missing the individual events following a COVID-19 infection, but Germany were outside the medal positions at that stage, leaving them with a sizeable gap to make up.

Japan were 10.4 behind Norway at the final changeover as Ryota Yamamoto was given the anchoring role.

Martin Fritz of Austria was in third position only for Vinzenz Geiger, a winner of the individual normal hill 10km, to launch a spirited fightback for the Germans.

Graabak, who looked in confident mood following his individual large hill 10km success, then steered Norway home as Germany had to settle for silver.

"We knew we had a really strong team," said Oftebro.

"Of course we missed Jarl [Magnus Riiber] but we did four really good jumps and we know that we're a good cross-country team, so we believed that we could take this gold medal.

"We're happy and satisfied and we're going to celebrate this one."